Operation Chaos: Should Illinois Democrats cross lines and vote for Rick Santorum?

Operation Chaos: Should Illinois Democrats cross lines and vote for Rick Santorum?

I am a reluctant Democrat.

Hell, I’m even a little embarrassed to call myself a Democrat. I’m not a fan of budgets increasing that should be decreasing. I am not a fan of coddling labor unions. I am not anti-union, but it seems like most unions are anti-hard work and I am certainly against that.

But looking at my voting record, Team Dem has had my solid support over the years. Clinton got my vote twice; while Gore, Kerrey and Obama all got my vote, although the Kerrey vote earned me a trip to the ER for a panic attack.

I voted for Alexi Giannoulias even though I didn’t particularly like him (putting it mildly). I voted against Bill Brady, which means I voted for Pat Quinn. If I had it to do over, I’d vote against Bill Brady again and continue to hold my nose while doing it.

See part of the problem is Illinois Republicans. The only thing worse than an Illinois Democrat is an Illinois Republican (post Jim Edgar). The only reason why a guy who campaigns on a pledge to raise everyone’s income taxes CAN ACTUALLY WIN is because Republicans ran a guy who rightfully scared women away. Had DuPage Republicans had the foresight to get into a room and decide on one candidate in the primary, rather than running five against each other, Kirk Dillard would have been governor.

So why I am considering voting for a Republican with a woman problem on Tuesday when I voted against one in 2010? Why am I considering pulling a Republican ballot and voting for Rick Santorum Tuesday?

Because a Rick Santorum win on Tuesday virtually assures Barack Obama a second term. We know Mitt Romney can’t win conservative states, if he were to lose in a large and relatively moderate state like Illinois, then how can he argue he is the best Republican running?

Not that an Obama second term is necessarily a great thing, but its better than the alternative, which Republicans have not given us a credible one. When Obama wins, I will not be in Grant Park waving an American flag with jubilation. I’ll shrug and go to bed as Chris Matthews pontificates melodiously about Obama and JFK. Again. Although maybe I’ll watch a little Fox News. It’s always fun to watch guys who call their station "fair and balanced" become enraged when a Democrat wins anything.

But what is the alternative to a Barack Obama second term? Mitt Romney is milquetoast. Rick Santorum’s authority to know what’s best for women is frightening. And Newt Gingrich is well, Newt Gingrich.

Plus, for three years we have watched Republicans sit on the sideline while our economy floundered. Instead of fighting to help the economy, Republicans chose to vote no, sit, watch and hope the economy would continue to fail and use that failure against Obama. Now that the economy is showing signs of life, Republicans say that if Obama were not the president the economy would have rebounded faster. That is half true– if Obama were not president, Republicans would have worked toward improving the economy, rather than working against the economy in an attempt to doom a president from the other party.

But voting for Santorum Tuesday is not a new idea. Back in 2008, Rush Limbaugh came up with it when he called "Operation Chaos" after Barack Obama won 11 primaries in a row. Rush told his listeners in states with open primaries to cross party lines and vote for Hillary Clinton in an attempt to either elongate the democratic primaries or to see Clinton on the ballot across from John McCain.

Although it didn’t work in 2008, if Democrats were to cross party lines and start voting for Santorum, it certainly would create chaos in the Republicans ranks. Santorum would continue to win elections and we would see the Republican convention open without a nominee. Talk about chaos. Republicans going into August without a nominee would devastate their chances at taking the White House.

Ironically, Democrats would have Rush Limbaugh to thank!

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  • While I have always found the idea of "crossing over" interesting, one BIG negative is that it can impact the rest of the ticket. Many important races this year in Illinois in both parties.

    Romney is the reluctant (presumptive) nominee, but he will be the nominee. Everyone else is just posturing for cabinet posts or TV and book deals.

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    Your whole "reluctant Democrat" spiel would be far more effective if you didn't recycle every line of this article from White House talking points.

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